Beta tests for new software releases aren't anything new for Android phones or tablets - they're often referred to as "soak tests," especially when manufacturers and carriers are involved. According to an anonymous tipster, Motorola is instituting a new confidential test program, giving at least some users access to much earlier updated builds for Android phones. Our source says that he or she was invited to test out a KitKat 4.4.2 build for the DROID RAZR M.
T-Mobile began its soak test of the Moto X running Android 4.4.2 earlier this month, a version of Kitkat that has already gone out to devices in Canada. It seems, though, that American carriers are largely taking their time with the release. Sprint placed its own soak test on hold just a half-hour after announcing it. Now, after roughly a week's wait, the process is back on. The issue has been addressed, and Android 4.4.2 is rolling out to those taking part in the testing process.
We figured that Motorola would be among the first to roll out Android 4.4 updates to their phones, considering the company's relationship with Google. But I don't think anyone suspected that the company would begin rolling out software updates within the month. According to an anonymous tipster, Verizon is beginning the soak test process for the Android 4.4 update to the Moto X, a strong indicator that it could be sent to all the Moto X units on Verizon within a few weeks.
Motorola, through its Feedback Network, has indicated that it is readying a "new Jelly Bean software release" for the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX on Verizon, asking participants – as usual – to test the waters before the release is made final. We know that the RAZR/MAXX duo are set to get a 4.1 update in "Q1 2013" from Motorola's own update schedule, so the following email (sent to members of Moto's feedback network) is a good sign that things are on track.
If you're an Atrix 4G owner, I've got a case of the feels for you. When the handset came out, it was one of the first pieces of hardware with a dual-core processor and it seemed like it would last forever. So far, though, it hasn't managed to get ICS. We all get burned by manufacturer updates but this one seems particularly harsh. Which is why I'm glad to bring a bit of good news: Motorola appears to be beginning its soak test program for the handset.
As part of a statement on the general state of software updates at Motorola, VP of Product Management Punit Soni has revealed that a new early update testing program will be unveiled, known as Test Drive.
We know it’s important for many of you to get the latest Android software upgrades onto your phones as quickly as possible. With that in mind, we’re also introducing Test Drive, a new program that will allow consumers to take our major software upgrades for a trial run and provide valuable feedback before we launch the upgrade publicly. Starting with Android 4.2, the next iteration of Jelly Bean, we will release a preview of our software to a few hundred consumers that sign up for Test Drive. More details on how to sign-up and participate will be announced on the blog soon.
While Ice Cream Sandwich continues to struggle to gain significant proliferation, more and more devices are receiving the bump to Android 4.0. The latest entrant into the post-crappy-design world of Android is the Motorola Droid 4. According to Verizon's software update page, a new upgrade is on the way. In addition to bringing Android 4.0.4 and everything that entails, the software will also enable Global Roaming capabilities. This should make international travellers very happy.
The Wi-Fi XOOM Jelly Bean update is almost here - after a brief delay it's finally rolling out to a limited group of soak testers who volunteer to provide feedback and test release candidates early. If all goes well, we should expect a wide release probably in the next few days, although if you're feeling brave, you can attempt to flash the update zip over your stock IMM76 build using a USB-OTG cable and these instructions.